Thursday, 1 December 2022

Midweek Munchies

It's the first day of summer here and it is cool and rainy, which I am very happy about! Here are some things I have previoustly munched on.

You know I love a silly drink, and this brand of Kombucha has some very silly ones. Reading the labels is hilarious. Anyway, this one was weird and tasted weirdly like a lemon Strepsil.

Kombucha


I have become a big fan of The Fermenter kombuchas, though I can only ever find them at The Green Edge. My favourite flavours are the grape and the apple, but in their absence I tried this lime and ginger one. It was lovely and tangy.

Kombucha


I made some burgers using some of the new Birds Eye Plant Based Chicken Burgers and some Sunfed Boar-Free bacon. The chicken burgers were OK, nothing incredible. The Vegie Delight or Veef ones remain my favourite chicken-style burgers. Someone on IG had mentioned that the Sunfed bacon was their favourite bacon, I hadn't tried it before. I was meh. It is quite heavy and was very, very oily. I'd like to take a moment to pay my respects to the Fry's Brioche buns, which don't seem to be available anymore. Which is very sad because they were the best burger buns ever.

Chicken and Bacon Burgers


I also threw some pineapple on the burgers.

Chicken and Bacon Burgers


With the leftover bacon, I made a BLT.

Sunfed BLT


Maple Oat Milk sounds very delicious! But this was fairly watery.

Maple Oat Milk


I've posted before about how much I love these cheesy vegan corn chips, they are SO GOOD! I snacked on them with some Black Sesame Hummus that I found in Woolworths. It tasted exactly like hummus, but just looked cool.

Black Sesame Hummus


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Abby


It has been six months since Abby passed. So it has been a pretty sad week.



Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Eating Out: Izakaya Midori

My friend and I have taken advantage of some of our mutual week days off by visiting Izakaya Midori, a gorgeous vegan Japanese restaurant down at the Gold Coast. The seating there is all undercover, but open air, so it is a good choice for these times where I don't really want to be inside with a bunch of people. You can see my previous posts about Izakaya Midori here.

We always share some agedashi tofu, because it is just the very best. The tofu and the broth is A+++!

Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Midori


I got the Tofu and Kara Yuzu Salad, which was a huge bowl of vegetables topped with fried tofu and karaage, all drizzled in a yuzu dressing. This was incredible, and so filling.

Tofu and Kara Yuzu Salad at Izakaya Midori


My friend tried the Karaage Don, which is a rice bowl topped with vegetables, karaage, and creamy dressing.

Karaage Don at Izakaya Midori


I didn't realise how big my salad was going to be, so I had also ordered the Do It Yourself Potato Salad (minus the shallots). Very grateful I had a friend to share this with! This is so fun, you get your bowl and then you mash it all together yourself.

Make Your Own Mashed Potato at Izakaya Midori


Even though we were both very full, we still found a little bit of extra room for dessert. We tried their Matcha Cheesecake, which was wonderful and had a great matcha flavour.
Matcha Cheesecake at Izakaya Midori


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Eloise


Eloise is continually just flopping down on her back, tummy exposed. It is extremely cute. The tummy is a bit of a trap, though I fall for it every time!



Monday, 28 November 2022

Recipe Round-Up: Color Me Vegan

Continuing the round up of things I have made from Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, where each chapter focuses on a colour. You can see previous posts about this book here.

Carrot Fries (Orange) with Blueberry Ketchup (Blue/Purple): I've tried making carrot fries a couple of times, and with not much success. These were similar. No matter what I do, my carrots are either soggy or burnt, they never get even slightly crispy. Does anyone have any suggestions? The blueberry ketchup was a lot more fun. I used frozen blueberries, and added in some onion flakes rather than minced shallot. I needed to cook mine a bit longer and mash the berries a bit as they didn't break down enough on their own. This was lovely and tangy and looks really cool.
Rating: Fries :|, Ketchup :)

Carrot Fries; Blueberry Ketchup


Nectarine Agave Panini (Orange): This tastes almost like a little nectarine handpie, it is very good! The filling is nectarines with yoghurt (I used Vitasoy vanilla) and agave, and then it is served with fresh berries and more agave.
Rating: :)

Nectarine Agave Panini


South African Yellow Rice (Geelrys) (Yellow): I scaled this down to 1/3 of the recipe to make 2 servings, and I absolutely made it in the rice cooker so I didn't have to think about it. I also used white rice rather than brown, because that is what I had. The rice is cooked with turmeric, salt, cinnamon, lemon, and non-dairy butter. I served it with a very quick tomato, chickpea, and spinach stew that I made up.
Rating: :)

South African Yellow Rice (Geelrys)


Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Pecans (Green): This says it makes 2-4 servings, but I definitely only got 2 servings, with tofu added and served over rice. I love shredded Brussels sprouts, my second favourite way to enjoy them (after roasted). The apple in this is a tart granny smith. I decreased the amount of maple syrup in the recipe to just a drizzle, for personal preference. And I used the pecans just as a garnish so they wouldn't get soggy. I forgot to add the pecans in this photo, so just imagine they are there.
Rating: :)

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Pecans


Garlicky Greens with Pasta (Green): This recipe calls for nroccoli rabe, mustard, or dandelion greens. None of which I can get, so I used broccoli, spinach, and zucchini. I made a half recipe for three serves, and left out the red pepper flakes, and I also added a tin of white beans for protein. A quick and easy dinner, and the sort of pasta dish that goes perfectly with nutritional yeast sprinkled liberally.
Rating: :)

Garlicky Greens with Pasta


Green Smoothies (Green): While most of us don't really need recipes for green smoothies, it is still nice to see one included for those who are uninitiated. This has frozen banana, apple, frozen pineapple, spinach, ginger, and dates in it. I used some frozen mango as well, and increased the ginger while leaving out the dates (they make things too sweet for me). For the liquid I used coconut water and apple juice. Very refreshing.
Rating: :)

Green Smoothies


Roasted Purple Potatoes and Onions (Blue/Purple): I found some purple potatoes this winter, and I love making dishes that highlight how pretty they are. This was meant to be roasted with lavender, but I am iffy about lavender so I just left it out. I made a half recipe for two servings. This recipe seems to have a lot of onion in compared to potatoes. I served it with some cheesy spinach and some Field Roast apple sage sausages.
Rating: :)

Roasted Purple Potatoes and Purple Onions


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


Yesterday (Sunday the 27th of November) was two years since Dim Sim passed. I honestly don't know how I keep going without her. I miss her so much.

Friday, 18 November 2022

Beltane 2022

While the 31st of October is known as Halloween throughout the world, it gets its origins from the pagan festival of Samhain. This is a sabbat that is very much seasonal and meant to be celebrated in Autumn. So here in Australia, we are celebrating Beltane!

Beltane (31st October - 1st November, 2022)

Beltane is between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, and is a celebration life and fertility. As often happens, I was working on the night itself. I made my special Beltane dinner the following day.

Red Pesto Risotto with Asparagus from Cook Share Eat Vegan by Aine Carlin: This fit the Beltane theme for because it has asparagus. Which... ahem... has certain associations. The pesto itself is incredible, with a mix of sundried and cherry tomatoes, almond, and basil. It doesn't go super red though. It makes more than the recipe calls for to add into the risotto, but I added extra into it and also had some left over to make a great sandwich with later. The asparagus were meant to be blanched, shaved into thin strips, and fried but that was a bit in the too much basket for me and I just roasted them. Served with an extra dollop of pesto on top as well.
Rating: :)

Red Pesto Risotto


Mixed Berry Cobbler from One Pot Three Ways by Rachel Ama: I stuck with the red theme (representing the element of fire... though green is also a Beltane colour) and made this lovely Mixed Berry Cobbler. First you make the base recipe, which is Stewed Berries. I used a frozen mix from Woolworths called Rube Red Mix (strawberries, cherries, and redcurrents).

Ruby Fruit Mix


One recipe of this made about two cups, and one cup is required for the cobbler. It was unusual in that you mix up a batter, then add that to melted butter in the hot baking pan (butter is also a Beltane food), and finally dollops the stewed berries on top. Normally when I make cobblers you put the topping on top! But when it came out of the oven, the berries were at the bottom! It was really nice, though did have quite a strong butter flavour.
Rating: :)

Mixed Berry Cobbler


Mixed Berry Chia Jam from One Pot Three Ways by Rachel Ama: Bonus recipe! As mentioned above, the cobbler used half of the stewed berries. Leaving me the other half to make one of the other two ways to use it in the book. I went with the very easy chia jam, which I had never made before. Just simmer the stewed berries, add a little bit more maple syrup, and then stir in some chia seeds and water, let sit. I was a bit worried when I made it because it just seemed like there were SO MANY chia seeds. But they really did absorb all the flavour wonderfully. Also, it had a good texture, not like chia pudding which is weird. I enjoyed this on crumpets, on top of yoghurt and granola, and I even mixed the last bit of it in to some overnight oats that ended up with a great flavour.
Rating: :)

Mixed Berry Chia Jam


Mixed Berry Chia Jam


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Boo


Here is a fun action shot of Boo with her Jackolantern toy. Getting photos of her was hard, because she often just wanted to smooch and play with it!



Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Midweek Munchies

Munchity munch.

These sour cat lollies are a nice balance of sour and sweet!

Sour Cats


My beloved Fry's Brioche Buns are very hard to find these days, so I was trying some other options with these Tip Top Potato Buns. Also got some veggie patties on sale. The buns were kind of dense and not great, I wouldn't buy them again. The patties I've had before, they are your basic veggie patty, though they are not smooshy. They were a little bit dry though.

Potato Buns and Veggie Burgers


Potato Buns and Veggie Burgers


This Veganz pizza was languishing in my freezer for far too long, so one day I committed to eating it and pulled it out. I really like the Veganz frozen pizzas, they always taste really good. They are just hard to find and expensive, so I only ever buy them if I come across one on a really good sale. I served them here with cucumber wedges sprinkled with ranch seasoning salt, which is something I have been enjoying as an alternative to cucumber slices!

Veganz Pizza


Veganz Pizza


Another ready made sauce! This Singapore Noodles sauce is fantastically mild, and full of flavour. Would buy again. I made mine with rice vermicelli noodles, tofu, and veggies.

Singapore Noodles


Singapore Noodles


Highlighting one of my favourite bars from the sadly closed Treat Dreams. Their Peanut Crunch bar is milk chocolate, so I should not love it as much as I do. It also has little bits of toffee in it, which means I should like it even less. But something about the combination of those with the peanut pieces is just absolute heaven. I have a couple of these left in my stash before I will have no more forever.

Treat Dreams Peanut Crunch


Finally, this absolute ridiculous mash up of pantry foods that I made one night for dinner when I just had zero energy for thoughts, let alone actions. Kraft vegan mac and cheese mixed with a tin of baked beans, served over baby spinach and topped with some bacon bits. Was it good? It was... food that was tasty enough and filled me up.

Kraft Vegan Mac and Cheese with Baked Beans


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Eloise


Eloise just helping herself to some of my oat milk. Sahara used to love oat milk as well.



Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Eating In: Featuring Yavanna and Nonna's Nightmare

Hello friends! This post talks about some extra fun deliveries I've had.

First up a burger and chips! This is from Plantein Cafe, which is one of those places that only exists on delivery apps and shares a kitchen with other delivery app only places. I ordered the Hawaiian Burger with bacon, and also the fries with gravy. This was a huge serving of fries, but not enough gravy.

Hawaiian Burger and Fries with Gravy from Plantein Cafe


Now we are getting into some more exciting territory. One day I was working late at out Paddington location, which is just around the corner from Yavanna. You can see some other posts about Yavanna here. They do not have an outdoor area, so I decided to get takeaway and then heat it up a bit more and plate it at home. I was very keen to try their seitan steak with mash and peppercorn gravy. It comes with blistered cherry tomatoes and greens. This was really nice, but the star was the gravy. That stuff is drinkable. I need to be able to buy a large container on it please.

Steak and Mash from Yavanna


UberEats has dramatically widened their delivery range, which means I can order from places I never could before. Downside is they are often not quite so hot, so I have to reheat them a bit when they get here. Also, higher delivery fees. But that is understandable. So one night I ordered myself some dinner from Nonna's Nightmare, a vegan Italian restaurant. You can see other Nonna's Nightmare posts here.

I started with the Arancini All a Pizzaiola, which were arancini with some sort of stuffing and a dill sauce. I added the cucumber. These were good, though I cannot for the life of me remember what the stuffing was!

Arancini Alla Pizzaiola from Nonna's Nightmare


The Pasta Gnocchi Al Ragu was lovely gnocchi, but they use Beyond meat mince in their ragu. I knew it was a risk, because I find Beyond Burgers too meaty, but I was curious. You know, for science. Indeed, it was a bit too meaty for me in this dish. But otherwise is was a very satisfying, hearty dinner.

Pasta Gnocchi Al Ragu from Nonna's Nightmare


For dessert I ordered some Cannoli, which had an orange scented filling and pistachio. Cannoli I have decided are a thing I like more in theory than in practice. I just never really like the cannoli shell. But what I did enjoy was the filling, it was delicious.

Cannoli from Nonna's Nightmare


Here is a final little photo, not from a takeaway or delivery, but from my beloved yum cha at Easy House that I went to a while ago. I didn't take enough photos for a full post (I have already posted so many posts about this place, see them here, but I can't resist a good crownded yum cha table shot.

Easy House


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Boo


Yesterday (Monday the 14th of November) was Boo's sixth birthday! Happy birthday Boo! Her tummy fur is still very slowly growing back after her last ultrasound.



Sunday, 13 November 2022

Recipe Round-Up: Color Me Vegan

Today we are moving on to another book, Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau! Even though it hurts me to write out the title like that, in my world it should be Colour Me Vegan. The book is encouraging people to eat lots of different colours of food in their diet, and is broken up into chapters by colour. You can see previous posts I've made about this book here.

Apple, Cranberry, and Sausage Stuffing (Red) and Shiitake Mushroom Gravy (Brown/Black): I made a half recipe of the stuffing for two servings along side the gravy and some steamed broccoli. The stuffing is a mix of bread, Field Roast Apple Sage sausage, chopped fresh apple, dried cranberries, and others. It went well with the gravy, which was lovely. The only change I'd recommend to the gravy would be decreasing the amount of sesame oil called for, as the taste of that was a bit strong.
Rating: Stuffing :), Gravy :)

Apple, Cranberry, and Sausage Stuffing; Shiitake Mushroom Gravy


Apple, Cranberry, Cherry and Pomegranate Salad (Red): This was a light, sweet snack or breakfast. I scaled it down for one serve using only one apple instead of four, but I halved the rest of the ingredients rather than quartering them. As well as the above, it also has chopped dates in it. I took the option of using dried cherries rather than fresh, making it a pantry-friendly option as fresh cherries are only available here very briefly.
Rating: :)

Apple, Cranberry, Cherry, and Pomegranate Salad


Quick Curried Swiss Chard (Red): This was in the red chapter as you could use red silverbeet, but I just had regular green. This recipe is a pretty big miss. The premise of the sauce is non-dairy milk of choice with some curry paste (I used red) mixed in... which basically ends up tasting like warm curried milk. Not great! I added some tofu to this as well to bulk it up.
Rating: :(

Quick Curried Swiss Chard


Seared Tempeh with Cherry Balsamic Reduction (Red): This was a suprise winner! The sauce is quite sweet, but goes fantastic with the earthy tempeh. It says it serves four, but I made a half recipe and got one serve. The cherries can be either fresh or dried, I used a mix of frozen and dried. Served with some mixed grain rice and baby spinach.
Rating: :D

Seared Tempeh with Cherry Balsamic Reduction Sauce


Cajun Red Beans and Rice (Red): I started this on the stove to saute the onion and celery (which I used in place of capsicum), then moved it all to the rice cooker so I didn't have to think about it. I love my rice cooker! I made a half recipe and got three small serves. I used white rice instead of brown, and I used Field Roast franks for the sausages. Served over baby spinach.
Rating: :)

Cajun Red Beans and Rice


Strawberry Cream (Red): I had a quarter of a tub of Tofutti cream cheese kicking around, so I scaled this recipe down to one eighth to make this. It is a mix of cream cheese and sour cream as well as strawberries. I double my strawberry content. I also used maple sugar in place of icing sugar. This was lovely served with some fresh fruit for dipping.
Rating: :)

Strawberry Cream


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara sniffs flowers


I had a dream last night and it was strange but at one point I had Sahara in my arms. It was just for a moment. I miss her.